Use Food Stamps at Farmers Market at a Discount

Imagine being able to buy food at a farmers market for half-off.

Kansas First News reporter Vanessa Martinas tells us the Douglas County Commission agreed to fund a pilot program to make that possible for some customers.

The fruits and vegetables you love to buy at farmers markets will now be more economical for food stamp users.

Wednesday night, the Douglas County Commission created a $25,000 program to do just that.

Eileen Horn is the county’s Sustainability Coordinator.

She says this will make the markets more accessible to all community members.

“It’s really a win for the community when low income members of our community can have access to healthy foods, it improves health and is also great for our farmers at the farmers market,” Horn said.

If you spend $10 at the farmers market, only $5 will be deducted from your food stamp account.

The other $5 will be paid by the county’s program.

Horn says the county is expecting a positive response.

“It’s additional money to spend on fresh healthy food so I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be wildly popular in its first year,” Horn said.

There are about 77,000 food stamp recipients in Douglas County and 24,600 in Shawneee County.

Yet there isn’t a similar program or an initiative to get one started for it’s farmers markets.

However, some Shawnee County vendors do accept food stamps.

It’s something they have to apply for and go through the right channels.

Participating markets in Douglas County are the Lawrence Farmers Market and the Cottin Hardware Farmers Market.

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